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The Link Between Adolescent Drinking and Adult Anxiety

It has widely been debated as to whether or not drinking can lead to an increase in anxiety. For adults, this is possible because of the effects of alcohol abuse on brain activity. Heavy adult drinkers may be predisposed to developing some kind of anxiety disorder.

But, according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), recent preclinical research has also identified a link between adolescent alcohol exposure and anxiety in adulthood.

Understanding the Connection Between Alcohol and Anxiety

It has always been said that the decisions made as an adolescent shape the person you are as an adult. When it comes to drinking, there may be scientific evidence to back that up.

The NIAAA study reported that rats exposed to alcohol in the adolescence phase showed a greater level of anxiety behavior as adults when compared to rats not exposed to alcohol. Those effects were linked to two specific genes – brain-derived neurotrophic factor (Bdnf) and activity-regulated cytoskeleton-associated protein (Arc) – that nerve cells need to form new connections with each other.

The study’s findings provide a somewhat better understanding for how adolescent alcohol can lead to biomolecular changes in the brain that have life-long effects and increase the likelihood for adult-onset anxiety disorders.

Understanding Co-Occurring Conditions

When it comes to addiction, it is very common for individuals to be dealing with co-occurring conditions. Many times, people who have substance use disorders are also diagnosed with mental health disorders. In this case, alcohol and anxiety go hand in hand.

When it comes to finding treatment, it’s vital to find a rehab facility that provides support for a dual diagnosis. It’s imperative to recovery that both issues are treated simultaneously. Unfortunately, these conditions can feed off of each other and make sobriety challenging. The right recovery center will understand this and help develop an approach to treat both.

A Complete Approach to Recovery at Footprints Beachside Recovery

At Footprints Beachside Recovery, we offer a variety of treatment options to help tailor our care to each specific client. It is our belief that understanding how to identify and treat a dual diagnosis is an important part of each client’s recovery. Speak with one our admissions specialists today and learn about our available treatment options for both alcohol and anxiety.

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